The Ole Ball Game

Difference between hit and run and run and hit

by Mike

Mike asked: Difference between hit and run and run and hit.

Rick answered: Mike, thank you for your question.

For some time, there has been a discussion around baseball concerning the naming of this particular play, or situation.

The basic play, hit and run, has been around since the games inception. It involves a runner, or runners, on first base or second base, or both first and second, or first and third.

Essentially, the runner(s) are going on the pitch. The hitter has the responsibility to swing at the pitch, regardless of where it is located, even if unhittable.

The hitter does so to protect the runner. When the ball is not hit, the play turns into a straight steal for the runner(s).

With runners on first and third, only the runner on first is going on the pitch, the runner on third reads the action in front of him/her, and reacts accordingly.

If the ball is not hit, and the catcher decides to throw through to second, in an attempt to throw out the runner, the runner on third can have the option to turn the play into a double steal.

The terminology discussion centers around the fact that the runner actually runs before the hitter has an opportunity to hit the ball, thus it should be called run and hit.

No matter the order it is referred to, the situation is the same. Runner(s) are running on the pitch, if the ball is not put in play, the runner is on a straight steal.

I know some coaches who have their runners hold until they are sure the ball is being delivered to the plate. When you do that, the chance to pick up the base with a steal is almost zero.

The batter must swing, attempting to at least hit the ball somewhere on the ground. Balls hit into the air will require the runner to hold up and return to the base he came from, if the ball is caught.

If the ball is popped up into the infield, more times than not it becomes a double play.

We teach our runners to treat it as a steal, with the added responsibility to take a quick look back to the plate to see what the hitter has done.

Without a doubt, the hit and run, or run and hit is one of the more exciting plays in baseball. It allows the offense to put a lot of pressure on the defense as soon as the runner(s) break from their base.

Once the offense creates that pressure, their chances for success increase. Defensive pressure generally results in some type of mistake, be it physical or mental. Offensive poetry in motion.

We also love the bunt and run, for all the same reasons.

Yours in baseball,


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Feb 23, 2017
Hit and Run v. Run and Hit
by: Anonymous

Hit and Run is a different play than the Run and Hit.

Hit and Run = Runner gets a sure read off the pitcher and makes certain that the pitch is being delivered home. Easy to do against a right handed pitcher when your a base runner at first but more difficult to do vs. a left handed pitcher when you're a base runner at first. Then the runner takes off of second base as the pitch as being delivered. The hitter has the obligation to swing in attempt to put the ball on the ground for a base hit regardless of where the pitch is thrown. With middle infielders moving towards second base because of the runner the wholes in the infield get bigger increasing chances of a ground ball going through for a hit. It's important for the hitter to stay out of the middle of the field. Simultaneously, as the ball is reaching the the hitter the base runner must peak in towards the plate to see contact - if the ball is batted in the air or on a line the runner must freeze and react accordingly.

Run and Hit = straight steal read by the base runner meaning he is taking off for second of first movement by the pitcher regardless of pitchers handedness. The hitter has the option to swing or take like a normal at bat. The hitter should be looking for a specific pitch to hit or a pitch in a specific part of the zone. Should be used with a fast runner and a smart hitter.

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